Changing the scholarship game.

The Polar Bear Scholarship Fund’s vision has been developed by the Board of Directors over the past 15 years and has evolved to what it is today. Up to 15 people serve on the board and the common goal is to raise and distribute donor funds to deserving North High students to further their education. It seems that these board members start out to be helpful to reach the goal and find that they become emotionally attached to these students over time and find that it is a very positive and affirming experience. If you need to be “sold” to consider working on this program in any capacity, feel free to talk to a member of the board.


Heather (Burr) Isaacson

Class of 1993

Heather was involved in Theatre, Student Council, and Upward Bound while at North. She graduated from Central College in Pella, IA with a B.A. in Sociology and Theatre/Communications. She has worked in the field of education, college access, and nonprofit for over 20 years. She is currently the Director of Programs for By Degrees Foundation in Des Moines, serving Findley Elementary, Harding Middle, and North High Schools. Heather enjoys time outdoors and/or traveling with her spouse and daughter.

Tabitha (Whistler) Meyers

Class of 1992

Tabitha graduatedfrom Grand View College in 1996 with her B.A. in Accounting. She iscurrently a Senior Accountant with Farm Bureau Financial Services in the CorporateAccounting department. Tabitha enjoys being involved with the Polar BearScholarship Committee because she knows how important scholarships are to makecollege possible for many students.Tabitha and her husband,Trevor, live in West Des Moines and have raised twin sons, Nicholas &Nathan.Tabitha and her family enjoy traveling and spending time outdoorsas much as possible.

Craig Millhollin

Class of 1963

Craig graduated from Iowa State University with a Business Degree. He owned and Operated Badower’s Clothing from 1978 – 1995. Craig then worked as a financial advisor from 1998 until he retired in 2015. Craig and Marilyn have been married for 53 years. They have 3 adult children and 10 grandchildren. His family and some volunteer non-profit work keeps him occupied today.

Emily (Gould) Chafa

Class of 1978

Emily participated in every musical and play during her two years at North High School. She sang in the choir, played trombone in the band and was a cheerleader her senior year. She was also in Student Council her senior year. After graduation at North, Emily attended Wartburg College for one year, then received her B.A. from Drake University in 1982. She went on to received her Juris Doctor Degree from Loyola Chicago School of Law in 1987. Emily was a lawyer and administrative law judge for many years.  Now retired from the State of Iowa, she is actively involved in several professional organizations, church choir and committees, and community groups like the Polar Bear Scholarship Fund.


Diana Waterbury

Class of 1960

Diana graduated from the University of Iowa with a BS in Nursing in 1964. She was a public health nurse for Los Angeles County and later San Diego County. Diana was married to a Pediatric Anesthesiologist and raised 3 daughters in Minneapolis, MN. Diana also spent some time as a school nurse for Hopkins School District. Sadly, her husband passed away in 2009 and she has lived in Urbandale for the past 6 years.

Dr. Bruce Anderson

Class of 1978

Graduated from Iowa State (BS) and University of Iowa College of Dentistry (DDS).  Fellow and Master in the Academy of General Dentistry. Retired after 30-year career in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan practicing in and running 3 clinics in Sault Ste. Marie, St. Ignace, and Manistique. Played clarinet all through Des Moines schooling and then 30+ years in the Soo Symphony Orchestra with membership on the board of directors. Adjunct clinical professor at the University of Iowa College of Dentistry and now helping with their international programs, especially in India. Volunteer in Laos teaching dentistry thru Health Volunteers Overseas, a Washington based NGO.  Have a great penchant for Southeast Asia and bike touring in France.

Ernie Rose

Class of 2005

After graduation Ernie went on to Drake University where he graduated summa cum laude (2009) and The University of Iowa College of Law, order of the coif (2012). Ernie is now a partner at the law firm of Drost Kivlahan McMahon & O’Connor in the suburbs of Chicago where he lives with his wife and two young children.

Omar Padilla

Class of 2003

Omarwas involved in many activities (including athletics and upward bound) duringhis years at North High. His most memorable accomplishment while at North washis journey from ELL student Freshman year to graduating as a valedictorian. Additionally,5 of 6 of Omar’s siblings also graduated from North High. Omar attended SimpsonCollege in Indianola, Iowa and graduated with honors with a double major inSociology and Criminal Justice. Since graduation from college, Omar has workedfor a U.S. Senator, was involved in state politics, worked for Habitat forHumanity, and presently works at Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.Omar lives in Des Moines with his wife, Rebecca, and their 4-year-old son.

Rob Stout

Class of 1993

Rob works at Principal Financial Group. He lives in Norwalk with his wife and children.

Stacy Lovan

Class of 1997

Stacy works at Wellmark Blue Cross/Blue Shield in Des Moines.

Non-Member Volunteers

A. Ross Jones

Friend of North High School

Ross graduated from Drake University with an MBA in Enterprise Risk Management, and Western Governors University with and MS in Cybersecurity and Information Assurance. He works at Berkshire Hathaway Energy as the Global Cybersecurity Operations Director where he supports 13 major utilities across the world and HomeServices of America. Since 2009, youth development and leadership has held a soft spot in his heart since he once benefited from the same support and guidance that PBSF seeks to provide North High students today. Ross has been involved with the PBSF board for over six years as a legacy to his grandmother and great uncle whom attended North High School.

Ready to Apply?

The application is closed.  Thank you for your interest in the Polar Bear Scholarship Fund.